Summertime on the Rez

“Summertime and the living is easy” so they say in the song  by George Gershwin in the musical ” Porgy and Bess” and , maybe it is for many of us but not for the Rez. Summer is the time that volunteers  arrive to help the local communities with projects of all kinds. Summer is the time to take advantage not only of the extra help but also of the good weather.

So here’s the latest Rez news……….

The Woodchucks are busy cutting and stacking wood for next winter.  Much better to do it now during nice weather when the men don’t have to worry about frozen hands and feet.  Most don’t own a coat and show up for a day of woodcutting wearing tennis shoes.  Thankfully they’ve received work gloves from some of our generous members, but they’re constantly wearing them out and needing more. Once winter hits they will need more saw blades and oil for the saws.

The vegetable garden needs constant attention and volunteers from the community and from visiting groups help to keep it in shape, lots to weed, water, plant, etc.  This year they tried pallet gardens for the first time so will be interested to hear how those work out.  Last time I talked to Jerome there were several items coming up between the slats.   Gardens allow families to afford healthy food in the summer.


Movie night is back and an important event for the kids. They sit outside the High Horse home and watch movies projected on a homemade white, wooden screen that Jerome made and attached to the side of the house.  Requests have come in again for some more popcorn supplies like oil, bags of regular popcorn, popcorn bags, hot chocolate, etc The last movie they showed was ” Little Rascals” that the kids enjoyed. If it gets too chilly, blankets you sent in and a fire keep the people warm outside. It is a desert climate so it’s hot during the day but does cool off at night, thank goodness!


Organizing volunteers is a big job and Jerome scouts out the area to see where they can best be used. Recently Sew For Kids purchased a trimmer so they can clear away brush and weeds from around the homes and outhouses of the elderly and disabled. We also sent some string for the machine that will have to be replaced from time to time.

Volunteers have been busy doing that job as well as painting homes that need a little sprucing up.  Ramps for the elderly and disabled need to be added to homes and some outhouses need to be rebuilt due to recent storms knocking several down.

There’s always truck delivery contents to be sorted and handed out to those that need them or delivered to those that don’t have transportation in from the outlying areas.   A recent NAHA truck brought in some  toiletries. Volunteers, visiting and some local people, make up the bags for individual needy families. Youthworks helped with the 2 recent distributions. Wonder why we sometimes ask for plastic bags. Boxes are used first but they do not always have enough to use. Of course they need them for garbage bags at community events and if the High Horses have to foot the bill every time then it gets expensive. Garbage service on the Rez is hit or miss so is why you see so much trash around homes.


Running Strong gave them a donation of running shoes and laundry soap so Jerome and Theresa headed over there to pick them up. There won’t be enough for everyone that needs a pair, but it’s a good start and will help the kids who need shoes to start the new school year in August. People must sign in to receive a donation to make sure that all is distributed as fairly as possible. There is never enough for all but they try to help the most needy families in the area.

Summer is Pow Wow time and each community on the Rez hosts their own.  People are busy putting the finishing touches on jingle dresses, dance shawls , grass skirts , ribbon shirts and other regalia.  Summer is also Sun Dance time, which is a very sacred spiritual event held by many of the Plains Indians tribes.  Sweat lodges and other ceremonial preparations are held prior to the actual Sun Dance ceremony.

The big project for early August is repairing an elder’s home that is in near unlivable condition for an elder and her son. The home will have to be taken down to the frame and then rebuilt.  A church group from Wisconsin is providing the supplies and the manpower to do the rehab along with Rez volunteers. A picture’s worth a thousand words so here’s the before photos of the home with the after picture coming in late August when the work is completed.  Another elder will receive a new roof during their visit.

Speaking of school, we’re starting a new month so it’s time for a new project.  You guessed it…school supplies!  We can easily sew pencil cases and tote bags for the younger kids, we’ll be providing some suggestions later as well as sales we hear about for school supplies.  Walmart has cheap supplies starting in July but you need to shop early as they sell out early.  The larger office supply stores usually run a couple of really cheap items every week to lure you into the store, but worth a stop if you happen to be driving by. If you use Amazon , sign in under Amazon Smile, and choose Hearts of the Sacred Spirit, the organization we are under and 1% of the bill will go towards their cause to help the people on the Rez.

Needed school supplies:

  • Paper, loose and spiral bound, wide and/or college ruled
  • Pens, pencils and sharpeners, erasers
  • Safety scissors
  • Washable markers fine and wide tipped
  • Glue and glue sticks
  • Folders
  • Rulers
  • Binders
  • Pencil cases
  • Backpacks

Not school supplies but still always needed are underwear and socks for boys and girls.  There’s an ongoing need for these items, they’re always on the “most requested” list and they’ll be on sale whenever the “back to school” sales start.  We have links for free underwear patterns on the SFK Pinterest site for those of you interested in trying that project.

There is a back to school cook out planned for the start of the school year in mid August.

We realize a lot of you are either on vacation or have plans for one so for July we’re concentrating on purchased items to send since your time is limited and everyone is out enjoying the weather and their family.  Hope you and your families all had an enjoyable weekend and commemorated Independence Day with parades, BBQ’s, socializing and fireworks.

Send any items to the High Horses here. Thanks from Sew For Kids.



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